Thursday, June 18, 2009


Guerilla guards the GoGoCurry.

Attack! Attack! Go!

To Go!Go!Curry, at once! If only all lunches could be like this...

Colorful menu board.

My friends and I arrived there around 12:15 p.m. to a relatively empty store. Not more than ten minutes later, a nattily-dressed Japanese couple entered (they were speaking Japanese - I hope I'm not making a false assumption here), along with polo shirt-clad Asian guys in their 20s and 30s who were sitting all by their lonesome. Curry seems to be a popular choice among the younger set.

One of the first things I noticed about Go!Go!Curry was how friendly the two waitstaff were. Clad in their yellow uniform shirts, the ladies giggled when I requested a picture with just the two of them. The one with plump cheeks tried to hide her face, claiming her cheeks were too fat. Too kawaii.

The left-hand wall was transformed into a vortex of curry and Japanese regalia pasted collage-style, hiding almost every inch of the original white paint. A veritable shrine to the Yankees' Hideki Matsui (well, in a place that harps the Grand Slam and Hideki Matsui chips, it's to be expected, neh?).

Oh, FYI in Japanese, "Go" means five. So, put together, "GoGo" stands for 55, or Matsui's number. Total coincidence? I think not.

Katsu Curry (mine).

I made a beeline for the Katsu Curry, which is what I came for. Go!Go!Curry serves three sizes: Walk (S), Single (M), Double (L) and Triple (XL). For $8, I had a good-sized portion of pork cutlet over rice, with some shredded lettuce on the side. But seeing how oishii the curry was, I could have used seconds on the rice to savor the curry. Bring on the sauce!

The "Grand Slam" consists of two fried shrimps, a breaded and fried chicken cutlet, a breaded and fried pork cutlet, two fried sausages, a hard-boiled egg, lettuce, a large mound of white rice and thick curry drizzled over it. I'll definitely come back for that when I have a bigger appetite.

Side dishes include Natto (fermented soy beans), Fukuzinzuke (pickled daikon) and Rakkyo (pickled shallots). Every 5th of the month, enjoy a free topping of your choice!

L-R: Katsu Curry and Chicken Curry.

Just so you can see the size difference...

"The only thing she thinks is about Grand Slam Curry!!"

Handwritten customer feedback notes lined the wall, crammed in next to copies of Matsui's smiling face. One note in particular, written in black marker, stood out to me:

"To GoGoCurry

Thanks for letting me USE your place as a shelter from the big bad city.

(Scribbled signature: R----- L----)"

Exactly my sentiments.

Rating: 4.5 stars.


273 W. 38th St
New York, NY 10018

Homage to the Homing Pigeon & His Retinue

Photo montage taken May 15-16. Essex, Conn.

Essex Go Round

Griswold Inn.

This entry originally took place on May 15 (I know - eons ago, please forgive the backlog. Work has been consuming me.)

- Everybody hop inside the car! We're going on a mini road trip!

That would be in the vein of Dad's adventurous spirit, more or less. Done with college for the year, my sister returned home to our humble abode. Not less than a week later, we were off again. This time, to a little old town we once visited as pigtailed children.

Destination: Essex, Conn.

I still remember the baby blue postcard with the shiny gold embossed logo in delicate script that read: The Griswold Inn. That's when I used to collect postcards of every vacation spot we visited. I started this habit at the tender age of seven. I'd tack some sticky tape on the back of the shiny pictures and fill my 3-inch scrapbook with them, marking the date next to each one (in my huge scrawled handwriting). Beaches, historic houses, amusement parks, shark fins and Native American memorabilia filled the parchment pages.

The Banjo Band used to play here.

Fourteen years later, the Griswold Inn still looks and feels the same as the first time I stepped through the heavy wooden doors. There are framed paintings of schooners, ship blueprints and a 2-foot-long antique brass whistle that makes a G-O-N-NNNNG noise when tapped. An old-fashioned, working popcorn maker still stands in the dining area. The warm smell of butter filled my nostrils.

My fun-sized sliders, up close.

The food's pretty darn good, too. The waitress served us a basketful of crusty handmade rolls with butter. The rolls were not as fresh as I'd envisioned, but when the clam chowder came, all that was forgotten. When it comes to chowder, New England certainly knows its stuff. Though the delicate blue-and-white doily-laced fine china was small in stature, the bowl contained a thick, rich soup. A generous helping of clams and potatoes filled each spoonful. But beware: Not for the lactose intolerant.

Double the (delicious) trouble.

My bacon sliders came next. As a rule, anything with bacon has a promising future in my book. However, the medium-done burger had just the right bounce and juiciness that made each bite so pleasurable. The addition of the chipotle mustard sauce raised it up a notch or two.

Chicken quesadilla with sour cream (Sister's).

My sister had the chicken quesadilla, which was rather bland since it lacked the spicy kick of jalapeƱos, cilantro and lime juice that would have enhanced the flavor. All in all, not a bad run.

Rating: 4 stars.

The Griswold Inn
36 Main Street
Essex, CT 06426